Australia’s national bank has been investigated by the local financial crimes agency for alleged breaching of AML policies and counter-terrorism laws. The National Bank of Australia (NAB) revealed the news on Monday.
AUSTRAC, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, has been actively waging a campaign against organized crime. In this general effort fall the allegations against NAB. AUSTRAC revealed that the bank’s activities have led the agency to investigate ‘areas of serious concern’ in the banking institution.
Moreover, AUSTRAC disclosed that there might be gaps in the so-called ‘ongoing customer due diligence’ and ‘customer identification procedures’, which could create an even bigger case against the Australian bank.
The consequences of the investigation on the bank are deeply felt in NAB’s share prices. On Monday, the share price fell by 3.16%. This is a big step backwards for Australia’s third largest lender.
One should not take an investigation by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre lightly. Recently, it fined the Commonwealth Bank and Westpac Banking Corp by $1.5 billion USD for breeching AML regulations.
Currently, the investigation has been handed to to AUSTRAC’s enforcement unit, with no real decision made yet of what to do with the bank. There have been no financial penalties either.